Man arrested in Cookstown told PSNI they’d be ‘like Ronan Kerr’


After being arrested by a police patrol in Cookstown, a 23 year-old man told the officers on duty they would “be just like Ronan Kerr”..

The shocking remark referencing the murder of the young Catholic PSNI recruit was relayed to Dungannon Magistrates Court during the case of Emmet McGarry, from Largy Road in Ahoghill.

McGarry had earlier admitted charges of disorderly behaviour, resisting police and assaulting police, relating to the incident in the early hours of January 4.

A prosecuting lawyer explained a police patrol in the Sweep Road area of Cookstown had been approached by a group of females who complained about a male “paying them unwanted attention”.

After speaking to both parties, who were advised to leave the area, the officers were subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse by McGarry, who also squared his shoulders and acted aggressively towards them.

Despite being warned about his behaviour, McGarry continued to be verbally abusive and “leaned aggressively” towards a female officer, the court was told.

It was while in the rear of the police vehicle that McGarry then told the officers: “You see you? I’m going to f***ing blow you up” and “You two will be just like Ronan Kerr”.

McGarry was also reported to say: “You see your family? They’re all ‘bang’!”

McGarry’s barrister said he could offer no excuse to the court for his client’s behaviour who, he added, had “tried the patience of the courts” with previous public order offences on his record.

The defence barrister said McGarry is attempting to address his anger issues and possessed “an excellent work ethic”.

Sentencing McGarry to a probation order for 12 months, District Judge John Meehan said the defendant was being given “one last chance” to address his issues.

The Judge added that McGarry had twice made efforts to seek help through his GP in this respect.